This story takes in the winter of 1856as a storm delays the lighthouse keeper’s return to an island off the coast of Maine. In his absence, his daughter Abbie must keep the lights burning by herself..
The lesson will begin with a reading and discussion of the book and its historical relevance. I have included a link to a teaching guide containing various activities and study questions.
I added bookmarks relating to the unit on symbaloo.com. This is my first experience with this bookmarking site and I really liked it. For this unit, I tried to keep activities to a minimum to avoid students “getting lost”, bored or overwhelmed with the content. Here is where the telecommunications component comes in. Sites include videos, expository text, a link to the author, where they will email him and a link to the classroom blog where they will post their personal responses.
We can’t anticipate all problems, but proper classroom management and appropriate student pairings is a good start. I also tried to include a variety of activities that will prompt student interest.
No “All Quiet..” unit is complete without a discussion of the traumatic nature of war. This is often difficult for American 15 year-olds to grasp, seeing as how they’ve never taken cover from artillery shells in a trench. Creating a war propaganda broadcast is specifically designed to focus their attention on the dramatic disconnect between the perception of war on the battlefront and the perception of war from the safety and comfort of home. One of the more impactful sequences in the novel involves the young soldiers anger at their teacher who glorified the war and strongly encouraged their enlistment. Attempting to make trench warfare sound elegant and chivalrous in a propaganda broadcast should help students begin to understand this logical disconnect. It also allows for discussions of the impact broadcast media has had upon our perception of war, and for the relevancy of this novel today.
Modern technology has made it quite feasible for students to create and broadcast films. I’ve done a variety of film projects with my tenth graders, both live action and using various types of pseudo-animation. They’re always most engaged when the film project is compact and clearly defined and when they are allowed to present their finished product to a fairly wide audience.
Student interest can be piqued simply by allowing them to be creative. Generally speaking, they’re much more invested in projects where they have some freedom to design (this is all assuming, of course, that you have a reasonably mature class to begin with). Most schools have at least a media center where computers are available. Scheduling class time in the media center, and planning out clear goals and a schedule when parts of this project are due are essential to solving both access to technology and time management problems.Lack of focus is often the biggest problem with a film/video project, but I’ve found that assigning groups (separating the talkers and “best friends”) is perhaps the most effective way to work around this.This project can eat up instructional time if you’re not careful, especially since it mostly has to be done during class time. Set clear and regular mini-deadlines, give regular feedback, try and avoid ever using an entire period just to work on this one project (overlap other parts of the All Quiet unit with this one).Sometimes turning this into a competition will force students to put more effort into creating a quality finished product. Publishing these to an audience wider than the classroom can also motivate them. But one of the best techniques I’ve found is to save excellent examples of previous projects. There’s nothing like a good example to help make your expectations clear.
Teaching with telecommunications -historical fiction
Telecommunications Activities<br />Teaching Students about the Genre: Historical Fiction<br />
Historical Fiction<br />Relevant Background Info.:<br />This genre of literature refers to any work which is set within the bounds of a specific, and real, time period, but whose characters and narrative are made-up.<br />The term “period piece” is often applied to books and movies that fit this genre. It’s not a perfect synonym, but it is mostly accurate. click for a more detailed analysis, if you’re curious.<br />
Overall Focus<br />Students will learn to:<br />better understand the author/creation relationship and create a product of their own which mimics this relationship<br />better understand a specific historical time period and the human impact of historical events<br />
Activity 1<br />Keep the Lights Burning Abbie<br />by Peter and Connie Roop<br />For: Elementary School grades 2-3<br />Telecommunications Activity: A list of bookmarks from symbaloo.com<br />
Relationship to the Unit<br />The lesson will begin with the teacher reading aloud Keep the Lights Burning, Abbie.<br />Book Summary: In the winter of 1856, a storm delays the lighthouse keeper’s return to an island off the coast of Maine, and his daughter Abbie must keep the lights burning by herself in this story based on real life.<br />The teacher will lead a discussion about the book.<br />Possible activities can be found in the teaching guide.<br />
Specific Student Goals<br />Students will listen to and/or read and discuss a story related to a historical event.<br />Students will visits various bookmarked sites located at symbaloo.com.<br />Students will email the author of the story.<br />Students will post personal responses onto a classroom blog.<br />
Possible Problems<br />Problem<br />Inappropriate reading levels<br />Lack of student focus<br />Solution<br /><ul><li>Students work as partners
Classroom Management</li></li></ul><li>Activity 2<br />All Quiet on the Western Front<br />by Erich Maria Remarque<br />For: High School grade 10<br />Telecommunications Activity: War Propaganda Broadcast<br />
Relationship to the Unit<br />Creation of a propaganda broadcast is designed to:<br />Emphasize reality vs. perception<br />Highlight broadcast media’s role in the perception of warfare<br />Initiate discussion of relevancy to modern wars<br />Allow students to better visualize some of the scenes in the novel.<br />
Specific Student Goals<br />Students will create a brief (<5 min.) propaganda film that attempts to glorify and elevate warfare. They will be encouraged to focus on a recruitment film since it would closely mirror themes in the novel.<br />The film project will include:<br />script<br />storyboard<br />shooting<br />sound recording<br />editing<br />presentation (broadcast to several classes or the school, if time and administration allow it)<br />Students will work in groups of no more than 4.<br />
Possible Problems<br />Problem<br />Student Interest<br />Access to Technology<br />Lack of Focus<br />Time<br />Effort<br />Solution<br /><ul><li>Creativity